Bliss Hotel in Southport. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

Guest Blog by Mrs Hinde of Meols Cop High School, Southport 

The year is 2021 – and inclusivity, equality and celebration of all identities are our values.

If there’s anything we can say about the last 18 months, there’s been challenge. There’s been division. There have been points where our society hasn’t seemed united, where in truth we have seemed quite divided.

But I want to pause here to celebrate a moment – a moment of utter delight, when it was so clear that we do, indeed, have more in common than that which divides us.

On Monday, the Meols Cop Year 11 Prom was held at Southport’s beautiful seafront Bliss Hotel. Of course, the whole event was a showstopper, but today I want to share a moment that made us, as staff, reflect on the power of the work we do to instil strong values in our students.

The newly-renovated venue was the perfect spot: bathed in glorious sunlight it was an apt visual metaphor for the bright young stars of our Year 11 students. It was, of course, a celebration of glitz and glamour. Suits were slick, dresses were delightful; the full prom experience was complete with a fruit punch reception, sparkling glitter balls and endless smiling faces.

During the event, students had voted for their Prom King and Queen. This moment, then, this rite of passage, now a mainstream tradition in most schools is hardly a moment to make your voice heard, or amplify the voices of those who need our support. Or so you would think.

But at Meols Cop, every moment is an opportunity to make your voice heard. Working alongside families, our community, external agencies and support groups, we’ve always ensured that our students know how to make their voices heard, and how to support their classmates. Instilling our values of love, respect, resilience, and integrity is the absolute bedrock of our vision to Broker Aspirations.

Collectively, our students used their vote for the Prom King and Prom Queen to celebrate love, diversity, inclusivity – and to give a huge cheer of encouragement to a student who has overcome significant challenges, and to amplify the voice of a student who has been on an incredible journey.

In voting for Prom Queen, Meols Cop’s Year 11s selected a student who is trans.

And the joy in the room when Mabel’s name was announced was electric. Every single member of Year 11 celebrated joyously at the announcement – staff shed tears of pride.

For some students, getting to understand, accept and love their identities has been challenging; for all of our students, loving, accepting and understanding the identities of their peers isn’t a challenge, it’s just how we work.

The year is 2021 – and inclusivity, equality and celebration of all identities are our values.

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